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Extended Offshore Energy Moratorium Denies Thousands of New American Jobs and Billions of Dollars in Potential Revenue

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WASHINGTON, September 25, 2020 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued the following statement today following the Trump administration’s announcement to extend the existing offshore moratorium in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to include additional areas off the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) through the year 2032.


“This is another move in the wrong direction for American energy security and takes thousands of new jobs and critical revenue for states off the table at a time when the economy is struggling,” API Vice President of Upstream Policy Lem Smith said. “In the long run, the world is going to demand more energy, not less, and we can choose to create more of that energy here in the United States by safely developing offshore resources or rely more on foreign energy sources. We’re disappointed the administration has taken this action instead of seizing the opportunity to grow and sustain American energy leadership.”


API recently released an analysis outlining how policies to ban development on federal land and waters threaten American jobs and the nation’s energy security. The analysis projects that a ban would shift the U.S. to foreign energy sources, cost nearly one million American jobs, increase CO2 emissions and reduce revenue that funds education and key conservation programs.

Other studies show that offshore oil and natural gas leasing in the Atlantic OCS and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could contribute billions of dollars to state economies. Oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS within 20 years after initial leasing could:

  • Create nearly 265,000 new jobs along the East Coast and across the country.
  • Result in an additional $20 billion per year in new private investment.
  • Contribute up to $22 billion per year to the U.S. economy.
  • Add 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production. 
  • Generate $5.9 billion in new revenue for the government.

Restricting access for offshore energy development also limits the primary funding source for America’s largest conservation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since 1965, responsible offshore oil and natural gas development has supplied billions of dollars for conservation and recreation area across all 50 states.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 600 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In our first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

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